California: discovering culture and art through libraries

06 Dec California: discovering culture and art through libraries

The Huntington Library, and Botanical Gardens is located on 150 acres of land at 1150 Oxford Rd. in the city of San Marino, California.

Many people, however, believe that the city’s biggest asset is the Huntington Library which is made of three art galleries and a library which showcase magnificent collections of paintings, sculptures, rare books, manuscripts, and decorative arts”, and the botanical garden with a collection which “features over 14,000 different species of plants.

The Huntington houses such treasures asthe Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; a Gutenberg Bible on vellum; the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America; a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works; original letters of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Lincoln; and an unsurpassed collection of materials relating to the history of the American West, 18th century British and French art, American art ranging from the early 18th century to the early 20th, French and British sculpture, tapestries, furniture, porcelain, and silver, and British drawings and watercolors. Additionaly, the Huntington is world renowned as home to Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie.

The three and a half acre Huntington Rose Garden is comprised of approximately 1,200 cultivars made up of Old Garden Roses (roses developed before 1901); China, Tea, and Noisette Roses; Shrub Roses (including the David Austin English Roses); and Modern Roses from all parts of the world.

The Shakespeare garden contains shrubs and perennials that evoke an English garden. Many of the plants have been cultivated for centuries and were even mentioned in works of Shakespeare, including pansies, violets, pinks, rosemary, daffodils, iris, roses, pomegranate, and orange.

In the Subtropical Garden, “Walking east to west from the Jungle Garden, the areas transition from subtropical southeast Asia and South America plants, to Mesoamerica plants (Mexico and Central America) in the central beds, Chile in the upper central bed, southern Africa in the western bed extending along the road and in beds continuing uphill to the lawn, to the Mediterranean region in the upper two west beds.”